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NBA draft 2019 recap: Pick-by-pick analysis starting with Zion Williamson

2019 NBA Draft
Zion Williamson is introduced before the start of the 2019 NBA draft at Barclays Center on Thursday.
(Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

Zion Williamson, in a cream-colored suit with a white shirt unbuttoned underneath, strolled from his stage right table to the podium and into the NBA when New Orleans selected him with the No. 1 overall draft pick, making official what everyone already knew since the Pelicans’ won the draft lottery.

A 6-foot-7, 285-pound battering ram with springs in his calves, Williamson was the consensus top choice after a dominant freshman season at Duke, averaging 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He was college basketball’s player of the year.

Williamson will be the centerpiece of New Orleans’ rebuild, which begins in earnest with the team sending Anthony Davis to the Lakers in a deal expected to be completed on July 6.

The Pelicans, who acquired the fourth pick in their deal with the Lakers, moved that selection (and a late second-round pick) along with Solomon Hill to Atlanta for the No. 8, No. 17 and No. 35 selections in Thursday’s draft.

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FIRST ROUND

No. 1 New Orleans Pelicans | Zion Williamson, Duke, PF, 6-7, 285

A generational talent who blends strength, speed and agility to beat stronger players off the dribble and smaller players with powerful moves. Only shot 33.8% from long range and 64% at the free-throw line in his one-and-done season with the Blue Devils.

Woike | Zion Williamson is a sure bet to be the NBA’s next big star »

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No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies | Ja Morant, Murray State, PG, 6-3, 175

After two seasons in college, he’s proven to be an outstanding scorer and passer with incredible court vision. Needs to continue working on three-point shot. He improved from 29.2% accuracy as a freshman to 36.3% last season.

No. 3 New York Knicks | RJ Barrett, Duke, SG/SF, 6-7, 202

The versatile scorer — he can drive, pull up from mid-range or step back for a three-pointer — was the consensus third pick heading into the draft. Only part of his game that needs polishing is long-range shooting — 30.8% on threes last season.

No. 4 Atlanta Hawks (via Pelicans, Lakers) | De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, SF/PF, 6-7, 225

A top-notch defender with a solid shooting touch, he converted 52% of his shots from the field last season, including 43.8% from deep. The redshirt sophomore led the Cavaliers to a 66-5 record when healthy.

No. 5 Cleveland Cavaliers | Darius Garland, Vanderbilt, PG, 6-2, 175

This one-and-done former McDonald’s All-American only played four games in college but impressed by averaging 19.8 points while shooting 52.9% from the field and 47.8% from long range. Compared to Damian Lillard.

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No. 6 Minnesota Timberwolves via Phoenix | Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech, SG, 6-6, 195

A strong two-way player, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season as a sophomore. Only lacking three-point consistency — converted just 30.4% of his long-range shots last season.

No. 7 Chicago Bulls | Coby White, North Carolina, PG/SG, 6-5, 185

At times a streaky shooter, this combo guard can score in a variety of ways, including from deep. He averaged 16.1 points, shooting 42% from the field and 35% from long range. Needs to improve his defense.

No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans via Atlanta | Jaxson Hayes, Texas, C, 6-11, 220

A 7-foot-3 wingspan gives him the potential to be a big-time rim protector. Averaged 2.2 blocked shots as a freshman last season, when he averaged 10 points a game while scoring a majority of times on dunks.

No. 9 Washington Wizards | Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga, SF/PF, 6-8, 230

This skilled combo forward is another talented two-way player who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan. He averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds as a junior last season. Needs to improve perimeter shot.

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No. 10 Atlanta Hawks | Cam Reddish, Duke, SF, 6-8, 218

His seven-foot wingspan and athleticism make him a versatile wing. The Blue Devils’ third wheel is rough around the edges, particularly shooting — he converted only 35.6% of his shots from the field and 33.3% from deep.

No. 11 Phoenix Suns via Minnesota | Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, SF, 6-9, 210

A top-tier two-way talent because of his athleticism, he can space the floor. He shot 45.7% from long range as a senior, when he averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

No. 12 Charlotte Hornets | PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky, 6-8, 228

This long (7-foot-2 wingspan) and athletic two-way player greatly improved last season as a sophomore. He shot 52% from the field and 42.3% from three-point range while averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds.

No. 13 Miami Heat | Tyler Herro, Kentucky, SG, 6-5, 195

This one-and-done Wildcat can score off the dribble with the ability to create shots. He averaged 14 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 46.2% from the field and 93.5% from the free-throw line.

No. 14 Boston Celtics | Romeo Langford, Indiana, SG, 6-6, 215

This one-and-done Hoosier has a ton of athleticism to go with his 6-foot-11 wingspan. His shooting slumped after a thumb injury but he averaged 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, only making 29.2% of his threes.

No. 15 Detroit Pistons | Sekou Doumbouya, France, PF, 6-9, 230

He’s 18 with plenty of two-way potential but needs to work on many aspects of his game. Ability to defend multiple positions, run the floor and score in variety of ways.

No. 16 Orlando Magic | Chuma Okeke, Auburn, 6-7, 235, SF/PF

A lanky, athletic two-way player who has a 7-foot wingspan. As a sophomore last season, he averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 49.6% from the field and 38.7% from three-point range.

No. 17 New Orleans via Atlanta, Brooklyn | Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, SG, 6-5, 205

A natural scorer who can be a streaky shooter, he averaged 16.2 points as a sophomore last season. Like his cousin, who plays for the Clippers, has a high basketball IQ but will need to improve his physicality.

No. 18 Indiana Pacers | Goga Bitadze, Georgia, C, 6-11, 245

This versatile big man plays well on both ends of the court. He can space the floor as well with his perimeter shooting. The soon-to-be 20-year-old averaged 12.1 points in his first EuroLeague season.

No. 19 San Antonio Spurs | Luka Samanic, Croatia, PF, 6-10, 215

A skilled and versatile big man who played well at the NBA combine, he can handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter. Lacks the physicality at 19 to be a top defender or play in the post.

No. 20 Philadelphia 76ers via Boston | Matisse Thybulle, Washington, SG, 6-5, 200

An outstanding defensive player, he averaged 9.5 points and 2.3 blocks last season. For his four-year college career, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists while 42.9% of his shots from the field, 35.8% from long range.

No. 21 Memphis Grizzlies via OKC | Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga, PF, 6-8, 215

The San Jose State transfer had a stellar college career on both ends of the court, averaging 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds as a junior for the Bulldogs. Has the ability to defend multiple positions.

No. 22 Boston Celtics | Grant Williams, Tennessee, PF, 6-7, 235

Although he lacks explosiveness and size, he’s savvy and can score in the post and from the perimeter. In three seasons, he averaged, 15.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists for his career.

No. 23 Oklahoma City via Memphis and Utah | Darius Bazley, Princeton H.S., F, 6-9, 205

Considered a project because he decided not to play at Syracuse or in the G League, this athletic 19-year-old combo forward has upside as an all-around scorer who needs to work on his post game and defense.

No. 24 Phoenix Suns | Ty Jerome, Virginia, G, 6-5, 195

A reliable combo guard on both ends of the court with a hard-nosed style of play. He averaged 13.6 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a junior last season for the NCAA champions.

No. 25 Portland Trail Blazers | Nassir Little, North Carolina, SF, 6-6, 220

An athletic, physical wing who has a 7-foot-1 wingspan who is expected to be a plus defender. This one-and-done Tar Heel only averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds last season while shooting 47.8% from the field and 26.9% from deep.

No. 26 Cleveland Cavaliers | Dylan Windler, Belmont, SG/SF, 6-7, 195

A skilled shooter with range, Belmont claims he was the only NCAA player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 40% shooting from deep. Needs to add strength and improve defense.

No. 27 CLIPPERS via Brooklyn | Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State, F-C, 6-10, 250

With a 7-foot-3 wingspan and plenty of athleticism, Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew can score inside and out, rebound and protect the rim. He made 36.9% of his three-pointers while averaging 13.2 points as a sophomore last season.

No. 28 Golden State Warriors | Jordan Poole, Michigan, SG, 6-5, 195

Can score in a variety of ways but comes with questions about his defense. In two college seasons, one as a starter, he averaged 9.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 43.4% from the field and 37% from deep.

No. 29 San Antonio Spurs | Keldon Johnson, Kentucky, SG, 6-6, 211

Uses his athleticism to score in the lane or from the perimeter. He shot 38.1% from long range and finishes strong at the rim, averaging 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds last season as a freshman.

No. 30 Cleveland Cavaliers via Milwaukee | Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC, 6-6, 218

Another one-and-done talent with plenty of potential on both ends of the court. Can score in a variety of ways, particularly off the dribble, and shot 47.1% from the field, including 41.2% from deep.

SECOND ROUND

No. 31 Brooklyn Nets via New York and Philadelphia | Nicolas Claxton, Georgia, C, 6-11, 230

A unique blend of size and skill, he averaged 13 points and 8.6 rebounds as a sophomore last season. A bit of a project with plenty of potential.

No. 32 Miami Heat via Phoenix and Indiana | KZ Okpala, SG, Stanford, 6-9, 215

Has the potential to be a two-way standout with his length (7-foot-2 wingspan) and athleticism. As a sophomore, he averaged 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 46.3% from the field, 36.8% from deep.

No. 33 Boston Celtics via Philadelphia | Carsen Edwards, Purdue, PG, 6-0, 200

A quick score-first guard who is excellent in transition, he averaged 24.3 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals last season as a junior. Had career averages of 40.1% shooting from the field and 36.8% from deep.

No. 34 Philadelphia 76ers via Lakers | Bruno Fernando, Maryland F-C, 6-10, 240

A double-double machine in college, averaging 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds as a sophomore last season, the native Angolan who played at IMG Academy just needs more seasoning.

No. 35 New Orleans Pelicans via Atlanta | Marcos Louzada Silva, Brazil, SG, 6-5, 200

All he lacks is experience at a high level but has impressed scouts at camps with his athleticism and scoring ability. Considered a big project with a ton of potential.

No. 36 Charlotte Hornets via Atlanta | Cody Martin, Nevada, SG, 6-7, 205

Played for two wolf packs, starring his junior and senior seasons in Reno. Can play and defend three positions but is a streaky shooter. He averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 assists last season, shooting 50.4% from the field and 35.8% from deep.

No. 37 Dallas Mavericks | Deividas Sirvydis, Lithuania, SF, 6-8, 195

Prototypical wing who can play multiple positions. Accomplished shooter and playmaker who is a solid defender. Needs to bulk up for the NBA.

No. 38 Chicago Bulls via Memphis | Daniel Gafford, Arkansas, C, 6-11, 238

Has the athleticism and potential to be a rim protector and play in the post but lacks a perimeter game. As a sophomore last season, he averaged 16.9 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 66% from the field. Never attempted a three-pointer.

No. 39 Golden State Warriors via New Orleans | Alen Smailagic, Serbia, PF, 6-10, 230

Comes into the league via the Warriors’ G League team in Santa Cruz. Solid post game and inside scoring ability who needs to extend his game to the perimeter.

No. 40 Sacramento Kings via Minnesota and Cleveland | Justin James, Wyoming, SG/SF, 6-6, 180

An athletic wing who played four seasons in college. Can score off the dribble but needs to improve shooting. He averaged 22.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a senior last season, when he shot 40.9% from the field and 29.6% from deep.

No. 41 Golden State Warriors via Lakers and New Orleans | Eric Paschall, Villanova, PF, 6-8, 255

An active big man who can score in a variety of ways and is a defender. Played four years in college, one at Fordham and three with the Wildcats, who won the 2018 title. He averaged 16.5 points and 5.1 rebounds last season.

No. 42 Washington Wizards via Sacramento | Admiral Schofield, Tennessee, SF, 6-6, 240

In four seasons with the Volunteers, he’s developed a solid offensive game with quickness and strength. He averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds last season, shooting 47.4% from the field and 41.8% from long range.

No. 43 Dallas Mavericks via Miami and Charlotte | Jaylen Nowell, Washington, PG/SG, 6-4, 200

A combo guard with some athleticism and scoring ability. In two college seasons, he averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 47.6% from the field and 39.6% from deep.

No. 44 Denver Nuggets via Charlotte and Miami | Bol Bol, Oregon, C, 7-2, 235

The freakishly talented big man has a 7-foot-7 wingspan and the touch to shoot from deep – he made 52% of his three-pointers last season as a freshman, when he averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in nine games.

No. 45 Detroit Pistons | Isaiah Roby, Nebraska, SF/PF, 6-8, 230

An athletic combo forward with a 7-foor-3 wingspan who is an excellent defender and inconsistent scorer. He averaged 11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists as a junior last season, shooting 45.4% from the field, 33.3% from long range.

No. 46 LAKERS via Memphis, Charlotte and Orlando | Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State, SG, 6-4, 235

He’s young (turning 19 in November) but strong, has a 7-foot wingspan and can defend at multiple positions. The one-and-done Chicago product averaged 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season. Only shot 40.6% from the field and 30.8% from deep.

No. 47 New York Knicks via Sacramento | Ignas Bradeikis, Michigan, SF, 6-7, 220

A physical, aggressive player who can score in a variety of ways, including long range. He averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds as a freshman last season while shooting 46.2% from the field and 39.2% from deep.

No. 48 CLIPPERS | Terance Mann, Florida State, SG/SF, 6-7, 215

Another top-tier wing defender, he started three seasons during his four years with the Seminoles. Strong finisher off the dribble, he improved his perimeter shooting, converting 39% of his three-pointers.

No. 49 San Antonio Spurs | Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State, SG, 6-4, 205

A solid all-around player, scorer and defender, he averaged 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals as a senior last season, when he shot 50.8% from the field and 39.6% from long range.

No. 50 Utah Jazz | Jarrell Brantley, Charlston, PF, 6-7, 255

Although not overly explosive, he’s a good athlete who can score in a variety of ways. Solid defender and rebounder.

No. 51 Boston Celtics | Tremont Waters, LSU, PG, 5-11, 170

Has the ability to score off the dribble and make plays. The SEC defensive player of the year averaged 15.6 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 42.3% from the field but only 34% from deep in two college seasons. Size is big question.

No. 52 Charlotte Hornets via OKC | Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State, SF/PF, 6-9, 190

This combo forward with a 7-foot wingspan can score in a variety of ways and is a good passer. In two college seasons, he averaged 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 50.4% from the field and 75.8% at the line.

No. 53 Utah Jazz | Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra, PG/SG, 6-2, 190

A mid-major star who averaged 24 and 27 points a game as a junior and senior. For his career he shot 48.3% from the field, 38.6% from long range and 81.1% at the line. A subpar defender, though.

No. 54 Philadelphia 76ers | Marial Shayok, Iowa State, SG/SF, 6-6, 195

A natural scorer with a good shooting touch, he spent his senior season with the Cyclones after three seasons at Virginia. A career 38.1% shooter from three-point range who averaged 18.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season.

No. 55 New York Knicks via Houston | Kyle Guy, Virginia, PG/SG, 6-2, 170

A sharpshooter and talented scorer known for making clutch shots, he lacks size and strength. He averaged 15.4 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 44.9% from the field, 42.6% from deep and 83.3% at the line.

No. 56 Brooklyn Nets via Clippers | Jaylen Hands, UCLA, PG, 6-3, 180

An explosive athlete with a solid all-around game, he averaged 14.2 points and 6.1 assists while shooting 41.3% from the field and 37.3% from three-point range as a freshman last season. Has potential to be a solid defender as well.

No. 57 Atlanta Hawks via New Orleans | Jordan Bone, Tennessee, PG, 6-3, 180

An explosive athlete, he had a big junior season, averaging 13.5 points and 5.8 assists while shooting 46.5% from the field and 35.5% from three-point range, all above his career averages.

No. 58 Utah Jazz via Golden State | Miye Oni, Yale, SG/SF, 6-5, 205

Has a solid all-around game on both ends of the court, thanks in part to a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He averaged 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season, when he shot 44.1% from the field and 37.1% from three-point range.

No. 59 Toronto Raptors | Dewan Hernandez, Miami, C, 6-11, 235

Did not play as a junior because of ineligibity, but in two seasons for the Hurricanes he averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 56% from the field. Never attempted a three-pointer.

No. 60 Sacramento Kings via Milwaukee | Vanja Marinkovic, Serbia, SG/SF, 6-7, 195

Has a nice shooting touch, including from three-point range, he’s athletic and savvy but not explosive. He averaged 12.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in Adriatic league and 12.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in EuroLeague.


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